Portola Pharma (PTLA): Watching the MFI on the Charts – Wagner Review

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Portola Pharma (PTLA) shares have sparked the interest of some chartists as the Money Flow Index has dropped below 30, potentially heading for key 20 levels. The Money Flow Index is an indicator that utilizes the volume and volatility of an asset to determine the buying or selling pressure of an asset. The indicator was developed by Avrum Soudack and Gene Quong as a volume-weighted variation of the RSI.

The Money Flow Index is calibrated from 0 to 100, and creates a money flow ratio (Positive Money Flow to Negative Money Flow) over a time period. This money flow ratio is what is pushed into an RSI formula to create a momentum indicator. Being a momentum indicator, the Money Flow Index (MFI) is capable evaluating overbought and oversold market conditions, using values of 70-80 and above for overbought conditions and 20 and below for oversold situations.

Dedicated investors tend to spend a lot of time trying to decipher the correct procedure for beating the stock market. This may involve figuring out a proper strategy, and deciding which stocks to start with when constructing a portfolio. Building a portfolio does not have to be a frantic race. In fact, not rushing into things may end up putting the investor in a good position to succeed. There are times when tough decisions need to be made when dealing with the equity market. Spending enough time to assess all the possibilities before making an investing decision may pay off down the road. As most investors know, there is no magic formula for coming out a winner in the stock market. Acquiring the most possible knowledge about the markets and individual stocks can play a vital role in the long-term success of the individual investor. 

Taking a further look into the shares from a technical standpoint, Portola Pharma (PTLA) presently has a 14-day Commodity Channel Index (CCI) of -124.27. Typically, the CCI oscillates above and below a zero line. Normal oscillations tend to stay in the range of -100 to +100. A CCI reading of +100 may represent overbought conditions, while readings near -100 may indicate oversold territory. Although the CCI indicator was developed for commodities, it has become a popular tool for equity evaluation as well.

The 14-day ADX for Portola Pharma (PTLA) is currently sitting at 43.09. Generally speaking, an ADX value from 0-25 would indicate an absent or weak trend. A value of 25-50 would indicate a strong trend. A value of 50-75 would signal a very strong trend, and a value of 75-100 would indicate an extremely strong trend. The ADX is a technical indicator developed by J. Welles Wilder used to determine the strength of a trend. The ADX is often used along with the Plus Directional Indicator (+DI) and Minus Directional Indicator (-DI) to identify the direction of the trend.

Moving average indicators are used widely for stock analysis. Many traders will use a combination of moving averages with different time frames to help review stock trend direction. One of the more popular combinations is to use the 50-day and 200-day moving averages. Investors may use the 200-day MA to help smooth out the data a get a clearer long-term picture. They may look to the 50-day or 20-day to get a better grasp of what is going on with the stock in the near-term. Narrowing in on Moving Averages, the 200-day for Portola Pharma (PTLA) is at 27.09, the 50-day is 32.38, and the 7-day is resting at 26.92. The RSI is computed based on the speed and direction of a stock’s price movement. The RSI is considered to be an internal strength indicator, not to be confused with relative strength which is compared to other stocks and indices. The RSI value will always move between 0 and 100. One of the most popular time frames using RSI is the 14-day. The 14-day RSI is presently standing at 29.98, the 7-day sits at 23.94, and the 3-day is resting at 15.02.

Investors may be watching other technical indicators such as the Williams Percent Range or Williams %R. The Williams %R is a momentum indicator that helps measure oversold and overbought levels. This indicator compares the closing price of a stock in relation to the highs and lows over a certain time period. A common look back period is 14 days. Portola Pharma (PTLA)’s Williams %R presently stands at -85.58. The Williams %R oscillates in a range from 0 to -100. A reading between 0 and -20 would indicate an overbought situation. A reading from -80 to -100 would indicate an oversold situation.

Investors studying the fundamentals might be conducting in-depth company research before deciding when to purchase a particular stock. The investor checklist may include studying the scope of a company’s competitive industry advantage, examining company management, and trying to get a general feel if the stock is valued properly. Once the decision is made that the company is a good fit for the portfolio, it may be wise to assess whether or not current conditions and price levels indicate proper levels for share purchase. The timing of purchasing a researched stock obviously comes with some level of trepidation. Investors will only know in the future whether they got in at the right price. A stock that looks very attractive today may not be as attractive in the future. Sometimes the investor will just have to trust their research and instinct when purchasing shares. 

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